Unna’s Boot Application
Named for dermatologist Paul Gerson Unna, this nonelastic paste bandage boot can be used to treat uninfected, nonnecrotic leg and foot ulcers that result from such conditions as venous insufficiency and stasis dermatitis. A commercially prepared Unna’s boot is a gauze compression dressing that’s impregnated with a preparation known as Unna’s paste (gelatin, zinc oxide, calamine lotion, and glycerin). The dressing wraps around the affected foot and leg. The boot’s effectiveness results from compression applied by the bandage to decrease edema, combined with moisture supplied by the paste.
Unna’s boot is contraindicated in patients allergic to any ingredient used in the paste and in patients with arterial ulcers, weeping eczema, or cellulitis.
Gauze sponge with ordered cleaning agent ▪ normal saline solution ▪ commercially prepared paste bandage impregnated with zinc oxide, glycerin, gelatin, and possibly calamine ▪ bandage scissors ▪ gloves ▪ elastic bandage or self-adherent wrap to cover Unna’s boot ▪ Optional: extra gauze for excessive drainage.
Verify the doctor’s orders.1
Confirm the patient’s identity using at least two patient identifiers according to your facility’s policy.2
Explain the procedure to the patient and provide privacy.
Assess the ulcer and the surrounding skin. Evaluate ulcer size, drainage, and appearance.
Perform a neurovascular assessment of the affected foot to ensure adequate circulation. If you don’t detect a pulse in the foot by palpation or Doppler, check with the ordering doctor before applying Unna’s boot.
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